Friday, the U.S. Congress passed a cap and trade bill to limit carbon emissions on a 219-212 vote. U.S. Congressman Sam Graves opposed the bill saying that a national energy tax on all Americans will only harm the economy. One independent study showed that the Cap and Trade bill would cost Americans over 2 million jobs per year. In the Sixth District alone, a Heritage Foundation study estimated that 3,609 jobs would be lost in 2012.
"This is an energy tax that will be felt by every manufacturer, every small business and every single American family," said Graves. "The impact of cap and trade will be much greater on producers, manufacturers and other small businesses in rural America because of higher energy prices, higher farm input costs and higher transportation costs."
The bill created a mandatory cap for carbon emissions with a complex system of trade-offs for those who violate the limit. Many, including the Wall Street Journal and Warren Buffet, regard the legislation as a massive tax increase on anyone who uses energy. In addition, the bill would impose a unique restriction on American manufacturers that compete against the rest of the world.
"This bill would put our manufacturers at a self-imposed disadvantage when competing against India and China," said Graves. "Worse yet, placing more restrictions and taxes on manufacturers will simply drive more manufacturing jobs out of the country. We want those manufacturing plants and the jobs they create here in America, not overseas."
Graves said that he supported a plan to create more American energy and more American jobs in the process. He is a co-sponsor of the American Energy Act. The bill is an all-of-the-above energy solution that includes specific measures to encourage development of renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, hydropower, nuclear and biomass, while also producing more American-made oil and natural gas.
"We can create American jobs and become more energy independent at the same time," said Graves. "Instead of raising taxes and destroying jobs, Washington ought to be working to solve our problems."
The cap and trade legislation is H.R. 2454 and will now go to the Senate where its prospects are uncertain.